I live in the southeast suburbs of Houston and summer arrives early here and lingers with hot, humid days until long after school has started, and some years, even until trick-or-treaters are roaming the neighborhood. I have always been an avid fan of autumn and not so fond these sticky, miserable days. For many years, while many of my northern neighbors and relatives were basking in the glory of June, July and August, I used to become depressed and resentful. However, as I age and learn more about myself, I have discovered that I can often change my thoughts and feelings around a negative event, by changing the narrative and perception of I have of it.
Last year, I actually applied this way of thinking to summertime in Houston. Instead of feeling the normal dread and girding myself for its misery, I looked for things that I actually enjoyed about this time of year. I focused my energy there, rather than in a negative place.
It was hard, at first. I am not a beach or pool person and generally, don’t like to sweat. I found, as I worked at it, that I really could find things to appreciate. The produce, such as cherries and watermelon (two of my favorites) is abundant. The days are longer, which makes me feel more energized and productive. The season is book ended with holidays (usually extra time off) and even has a bonus one in the middle. The traffic on my commute is not nearly as congested and it seems the community as a whole slips into a more relaxed vibe as people vacation and rest. I am highly anticipatory, and find one of my favorite things about summer is that fall is coming up close behind. It was freeing to be able to let go of my horrible dislike of this season and embrace its positives instead.
As the heat index hovers close to 100 today, in early May, I am keeping my eyes peeled for the first cherries of the season and dreaming of pumpkins to come.